Number of Saints Canonized by the Church of England

One.

All the other saints she commemorates are ones she has as part of her Catholic heritage.

And the one she chose was an intriguing choice: King Charles I, the king killed by the Puritans during the English Civil War. His trial was an interesting one: he demanded to know by what authority he was being tried, since as king, he was head of the Judiciary. The court insisted that the King of England wasn’t a person, but an office, tried, and executed him anyways.

3 Comments

  1. Interesting. Do you think it’s because of a lack of heroic examples of Christian virtues, because it somehow recognizes it doesn’t have the authority or just because it would make it seem too Catholic?

  2. My guess is the last two.

    The only canonized “saint” was both King (head of their Church) and considered too Catholic (which is part of what got him killed). I really am quite struck by the choice, and by the fact that was where it ended.

    After him, Cromwell and his cronies took over to purge Catholicism from the land more violently. They weren’t fans of the Saints, so that’s probably why it never really got going.

    But there’s also the seeming realization that there’s just not the authority. Look at the lack of binding Councils and Creeds since the Schism (for Orthodoxy) and the Reformation (for Protestantism). Even those who praise the Creeds as good and binding have deprived themselves of the tools to ever have new Creeds: it’s as if the Creedal Age, like the Age of Inspiration, is just permanently and irreversibly over.

  3. The canonization of someone as a saint is quite a powerful statement. It’s a statement by the Church that this person is 1) in Heaven and 2) worthy of imitation. To list someone as a saint is a risk. It immediately calls into question what authority exists to list the population in Heaven. It is also risky because every saint is someone I should be able to imitate in order to live only for Christ. How many of us are willing to risk saying “just do what I do to get to Heaven”? It’s that much more difficult when you’re putting that trust in someone else. Canonization is not to be taken lightly and it’s commendable that the Church of England has been so prudent.

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